Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend
Rambam

Rambam

Rabbi Yitzchok Etshalom
Talmud Torah 1:07

7: If the *minhag hamedina* (local custom) was to pay the teacher, he brings him his payment. [the father] is obligated to pay for his education until he learns the entire Written Torah. In a place where the custom is to teach the Written Torah for money, it is permissible to teach for a salary. However, it is forbidden to teach the Oral Law for a salary, as it says: *R'eh limadti etchem hukkim umishpatim ka'asher tzivani hashem* (See, I have taught you laws and judgements just as Hashem commanded me) (Devarim [Deuteronomy]4:5) just as I [Moshe] studied for free, so you learned from me for free. Similarly, when you teach in the future, teach for free, just as you learned from me. If he doesn't find anyone to teach him for free, he should find someone to teach him for pay, as it says: *Emet k'ne* (acquire - or buy - truth) (Mishlei [Proverbs] 23:23) I might think that [in that case] he should teach others for money, therefore Scripture says: *v'al timkor* (and do not sell it) ) )ibid.); so you see that it is forbidden to teach for pay, even if his teacher taught him for pay.

Q1: Why the distinction between the written law and the oral law?

KB: We've always been allowed to pay scribes, eh?

YE: Another response: someone who is teaching the pure text is merely a facilitator - teaching grammar, lexicon, history etc. Therefore, he is not in the model of Moshe Rabbenu, from whom the entire halakha of free teaching is derived. On the other hand, the Rebbe who teaches the Torah sheba'al peh is teaching Halakha, mussar (ethics); hashkafa (Jewish perspectives and values) etc. That is the model of Moshe Rabbenu.

Q2: If it is prohibited to teach the oral law for pay, how can someone learn from a teacher who is charging money? Shouldn't the teacher also be a role model?

KB: The teacher ought to be one. But if such a sterling person can't be found we work with what we can get.

YE: I agree - but note that R does not say that the father hires such a person - in which case he would be setting his son up with an unworthy role model. R relegates this Halakha to your own study - find a teacher, even if you have to pay. Remember, R. Meir followed on foot while Acher taught him on Shabbat. I don't believe that R. Meir's father would have hired Acher as a Rebbe for his son, but someone mature enought to seek wisdom is also, hopefully, mature enough to sift out the negative modelling here. Obviously, this is not the ideal.

Q3: The question which screams out from this Halakha: how can we (Jewish educators) get salaries for our work?

KB: I always found it problematic myself. However, there seems to be a lot of literature on the subject. The Chofetz Chaim perhaps?

YE: Clearly a large question: However, it seems that we pay all such people (teachers, judges etc.) *s'char batala* - the money they would have made had they involved themselves in business, instead of community affairs. See Ketubot 105 - also, Keith, you hit it on the head with the Chafetz Chaim - see Biur Halakha, OH 231.

Rambam, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Blessing As A Precursor of Teshuva
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5769

G-d's Concealment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

The Ends of Heaven
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

ArtScroll

Prayer with Legs to Stand On
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Touching One's Essence
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5771

Timely Words
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

> It's Never Too Late
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Teshuva Must Take Into Account the Root Cause of Sin
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Moshe Went, but Never Left
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

So It Is Written
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Song of the Conscience
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

The Difference Between The Two Tochachas
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Perceptions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5768

Family Values
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Vayelech
- 5769

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information